Originally Posted by sikoniko
Actually, I find that the majority of the people in this forum are judgemental and hypercritical of anyone who spends more than a couple hundred dollars on a system and are quick to try and discredit others who do.
I have been in love with the b&w sound for 11 years now and have worked diligently to build my system. I have the speakers I want (N802's), now I am saving to get them a better amp (classe ca-3200).
As one of those who, I fear, comes across as judgmental and hypocritical I'd like to clarify my own position. It's not about discrediting anyone, or trying to belittle anyone for their subjective opinions. Sound is a little bit like wine; at the end of the day, the important thing is "Do *you* like it?"
What gets me bent out of shape is when people try to lead others astray by conflating price with sound quality, or by disregarding fundamental acoustics and well-established best-practices in sound reproduction.
I would certainly never suggest great audio is attainable with only a couple of hundred dollars spent!
In order of importance I'd say a listener should focus on:
1) A reasonably sized and shaped room, with speakers placed in reasonable locations (i.e. symmetrical around the listening position, not too close to the room boundaries). You'd be surprised how many people spending lots of money on systems don't get this right! (allowances must be made of course for real world living conditions)
2) Good speakers. Like others in this forum I am a happy B&W customer
3) Some combination of acoustic treatments and proper EQ and/or electronic room correction. Bass management mandatory for home theater applications and highly recommended for 2-channel music.
4) Competent electronics, that is to say, well-behaved amplifiers of sufficient sustainable power to hit the desired volume levels in your room with your speakers, and a pre/pro with all the desired features and an acceptable s/n ratio.